It was a Monday when I found myself zooming down University Avenue on a sunny Spring afternoon with the wind in my hair and smug mug. Hopping off my bike and into the Shangri-La Hotel’s Lobby Lounge I immediately spotted my tea date. Lisa Ng from The Hip and Urban Girls Guide was dressed in a bright yellow dress and jumped out of her seat to give me a hug.
On my last visit to The Shang I had good fun at The Bar where I sampled their very best sips and nibbles. This time around Lisa and I would be indulging in their Afternoon Tea program, one of Toronto’s newest and unique offerings in the genre.
The Lobby Lounge offers a staggering selection of 68 premium teas sourced from around the globe. I was most impressed by the fact that the Shang’s program offers different types of tea sets and ceramics depending on which tea is ordered. Teas range from a reasonable $7.50 per pot to $70.00 for the more exotic varieties (perfect for when you are in the mood to treat yourself). The experience here is also an educational one as all servers are level one certified tea specialists. Two staff members are actually currently training to become tea sommeliers through the Tea Association of Canada.
We found ourselves seated in the centre of the Lobby Lounge directly in front of a booming fireplace where we would spend the next two hours sipping on three tea varieties (Royal Earl Grey, Vanilla Rooibos and Genmaicha) while nibbling on dainty sandwiches, pastries and a massive raisin scone. We chatted travel, blogging, social media and our love for indulging in the every day. Skipping out back onto the street in the warm sun I realize there really is no better therapy than one that is lovingly steeped.
Smoked Salmon and Cucumber
herb creme fraiche on rye
fresh herbs on country white
Ham and Brie
apple on marble rye
Chicken with Grainy Mustard
mayonnaise on whole wheat
Warm Raisin Scone
devonshire clotted cream, house made berry preserve
Selection of Seasonal Inspired Pastries